France forwards coach William Servat said on Tuesday he had “no doubt” that emblematic captain Antoine Dupont could return from injury in time for the World Cup playoffs.
Dupont underwent surgery last week after suffering a fractured cheekbone in Thursday’s victory over Namibia, putting hosts Les Bleus on the verge of the knock-out stages on the weekend of October 14-15.
France’s next game is against Italy on October 7 when a victory would guarantee top spot in Pool A and a last-eight tie, in all likelihood with World Cup holders South Africa.
“The operation went well, he’s resting. He will be back training on Sunday,” Servat told reporters.
“I have no doubt about his ability to play the quarter-final,” the former France hooker added.
Former World Rugby player of the year Dupont, 26, was helped off the pitch in last week’s win over Namibia and has been at home since undergoing surgery on Friday.
Missing Dupont for the knock-out stages of the tournament would be a big blow to France’s chances of lifting the Webb Ellis trophy for the first time.
The Toulouse half-back is yet to lose on home soil as captain of his country, a run dating back 14 Tests.
“Friday and Saturday are days off for us,” Servat said.
“He will have time to return in that period of time,” he added.
Maxime Lucu or Baptiste Couilloud are set to replace Dupont at scrumhalf against Italy with the likes of Anthony Jelonch and Charles Ollivon among the contenders to lead the side.
© Agence France-Presse
Photo: CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP